Wednesday, 27 April 2011

THE BLUESKIN BAYLEAF: Hampden Apple Harvest Day

THE BLUESKIN BAYLEAF

Apple Harvest

by Rowan Holt

On 10 April I had such fun at the Hampden Apple Harvest Day. I was
able to persuade the council to allow me to hold my first community
hands on cooking school, where I showed my "students" how to prepare
Baked Apples. It was great success so I thought I'd share the recipe
with you. I'm very much looking forward to my next school session!

Medium/large cooking apples, remove the core. I found a brilliant
apple corer for $1 at the Seacliff market. Keep a look out for one, as
they are hard to find in the shops. If you like, with a small knife
run a line around the centre circumference of the apple. This will
stop the skin bursting when cooking.

Sticky fruit – use a mix and match of what you fancy. Try dates, figs,
prunes, dried apricots, cherries or crystallized ginger. Chop this up
into fine little bits and put in a small bowl.

Spices – in your mortar and pestle (you can buy economical and
effective ones either at centre city new world or the asian
supermarket on Howe St for about $20 and you will use it all the time)
put the flavours you desire. Try black or pink peppercorns, cardamom
pods, star anise, cloves, and cinnamon. Choose a maximum of 3 spices
otherwise the taste can become confusing. Grind these to a fine powder
and remove any thing that looks like it will stuck in your teeth (pod
shell, any woody bits.) Put this too, in the small bowl.

Add a knob of butter, a spoon of brown sugar and a pinch of salt. The
salt takes the sickly sweetness away and brings out the flavour of the
spices.

Massage this all together with the back of a wooden spoon or clean
hands. Make it into a paste.

Have a 30cm square piece of tin foil ready per apple. Place the apple
in the centre and stuff the cavity full with the paste. Wrap up the
apple tight and put in a baking dish. Once you have prepared all the
apples you wish, pop them in the oven for 15 minutes bake at 180
degrees.

Serve with yoghurt, mascarpone, cream or ice cream for a supper treat.


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